Dear Friend and Supporter of Tent of Nations,
You have been a supporter of Tent of Nations or are receiving this update from a friend or colleague who wishes to inform you about this urgent situation. As you know, Tent of Nations is a peace project located on a farm owned for over 100 years by the Nassar family, located 6 miles southwest of Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian territories. Since 2001, Tent of Nations has been a place where “people from many different countries come together to learn, to share, and to build bridges of understanding and hope.” The Nassar family runs empowerment programs for women and children in the local area and welcomes thousands of international visitors every year, inspired by the courageous and steadfast stand of this family for justice and peace.
Recent events have raised the concern that the farm is at increased risk of destruction or confiscation. On May 21, 2021, more than 1,000 fruit trees were destroyed by arson. On June 9, 2021, the Israeli military entered the farm with vehicles and a bulldozer, destroying over 50 trees and damaging the terraced land. In the last few months, the Nassar family have been under increased pressure as the pace of settlement expansion, construction of roads for settlers that restrict the movement of Palestinians, and the use of checkpoints has accelerated. Taken together, these acts are intended to pressure the family to leave their home so that the land can be taken and incorporated into the adjacent Israeli settlement.
Of greatest concern at this time is the delay in the re-registration of the property. Since 1991, the Nassar family has been in the Israeli Military and Supreme Courts defending their land from demolition and confiscation. The process has been subject to continued delays on the part of Israel, requiring that the Nassars re-initiate the process multiple times. Finally, in 2019, the Nassars received confirmation that their re-registration application to establish ownership was complete. After two more years of additional delays, a meeting was held in February 2021 by the Israeli Registration Committee, the purpose of which was to determine and inform the family about next steps for re-registration. Despite repeated inquiries, the Nassars continue to await notification of the results of that meeting.
Given recent events, the delay in the land re-registration process exposes the Nassar’s farm to severe risk. It is critical that the re-registration process of the Nassar land be concluded without further delay and that no demolition or eviction orders are issued. Completion of the land re-registration constitutes Israeli authorities’ recognition of the Nassars as the private owners of this land and ends their legal struggle.
Your help is needed to exert pressure on Israel to stop issuing demolition and eviction orders and to complete the re-registration of the land.
Here is what you can do:
1. Sign this petition,
which will be delivered to the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Embassy in Israel.
2. Contact your senators and representatives. Urge them to ask the State Department to question the Israeli government about the Israeli Military’s recent acts of destruction of Nassar property and the delays of the re-registration.
- Click here for scripts to guide your phone calls and emails.
- Click here to download a one-page backgrounder on Tent of Nations that you can send on to your representatives and to others.
Use these links to obtain the contact information for your elected representatives:
House of Representatives:
Thank you for your longtime support for the work of the Nassar family. You may forward this email to trusted others. We will keep you apprised of developments.
Friends of Tent of Nations North America